The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, moves from its typical springtime home to the fall this year … or, more specifically, to this coming weekend. The small press comics show will be held Saturday and Sunday at the San Francisco Concourse.
Special guests include Jessica Abel, Paige Braddock, Megan Kelso, Matt Madden, Ethan Nicolle and Chris Ware. The programming schedule includes panels with each of them.
In addition, the exhibitor floor will be filled to the brim with all sorts of comic retailers, creators and publishers, from mini-comics to bigger publishers like Image, Fantagraphics, SLG, IDW and Oni. I personally plan to help stimulate our faltering economy by spending a bunch of money on cool comics this weekend.
Here’s a sample of what some of them have planned … if you’re exhibiting at the show and would like a mention, let me know; I’ll post again later this week.
Buenaventura Press will debut one of the most talked about books of the last few months, Kramers Ergot 7. They’ll have a limited quantity of advanced copies, and a number of creators will sign at their booth, including Souther Salazar, Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Matt Furie, Jaime Hernandez, Ted May, Tim Hensley and others. APE will also host a panel with editor Sammy Harkham, publisher Alvin Buenaventura, and contributing artists Daniel Clowes, Eric Haven, Jaime Hernandez, Kevin Huizenga, Ted May and Chris Ware.
In addition, Huizenga will sign copies of his newest book, Fight Or Run; Matt Furie will be debuting and signing copies of Boy’s Club #3; and Aiyana Udesen will be signing various mini-comics at the Buenaventura booth.
Fantagraphics will have a busy booth, as their guests include:
“and hopefully Richard Sala,” writes Eric Reynolds.
New books debuting at APE:
Comics Are For Idiots
Fuzz and Pluck Splitsville
Pete & Pussy
SLG Publishing‘s Jennifer de Guzman filled me in on their plans:
Ethan Nicolle, the creator of Chumble Spuzz, is going to be a special guest at APE. He’ll be doing a panel on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. We’re debuting a new graphic novel called Lulu and Mitzy, a comedy about two prostitutes trying to scheme to make money for rent — it sounds odd to say this, but it’s surprisingly heart-warming. The creator, S. Eddy Bell, will be there to sign.
Also signing at our table will be Serena Valentino, Camilla d’Errico, Gene Yang, Jon “Bean” Hastings and Derek Hunter. Andy Ristaino, creator of The Babysitter, will be signing at his own table, as will Lesley Reppeteaux (a.k.a. Black Olive, creator of Outlook: Grim).
I’ll be on the prowl for minicomics to fall in love with.
Top Shelf‘s Brett Warnock will be in attendance and will bartend at Isotope’s APE Aftermath party (more on that below).
“One very special guest who is in attendance is Sean Wilson,” Warnock said. “Sean lives in Japan, and is editing a handsome anthology of Gekiga manga with Top Shelf.”
Wilson will present at the show as well, at 5 p.m. Sunday on “the roots and contemporary state of indy/alternative manga in Japan, using rare and unseen visuals supplied by the original Gekiga creators of the 1950s and 1960s and info from the editors of AX, the premier alternative anthology in Japan today,” per the APE site.
Top Shelf’s other guests include:
• Nate Powell, “with his amazing new graphic novel Swallow Me Whole,” Warnock said. “Nate (and Skyscrapers of the Midwest author Josh Cotter) will be doing a live art show at the same time.”
• Bill Kelter and Wayne Shellabarger. “They did our new non-fiction illustrated text, Veeps. It’s a terrific book, with a back cover blurb by Howard Zinn,” Warnock said.
• Rob Goodin. Debuting his comic, The Man Who Loved Breasts.
• Jeffrey Brown, and his new anthology series SULK. Issue #1 features Bighead.
• Renee French. She will be signing Micrographica and The Ticking.
From Matt Silady, creator of The Homeless Channel, who will split his time at two booths:
I’ll be honest, I have a real soft spot in my heart for APE. It’s where I got my start and it remains one of the premiere showcases for the future of the art form and the comics industry. For me, the 2008 Alternative Press Expo is really a culmination of all the things I’ve been working on for the past year. It’s where that whole “triple threat” thing with the teaching and the comics and retail stuff all comes together in one crazy weekend!
During the show, I’ll be splitting my time between the Writers Old Fashioned table (448) and a brand new table sponsored by the California College of the Arts (529). The former will feature the newest work by our ever-growing San Francisco based writing group. I’m thrilled to announce Emily Stackhouse’s first comic, Brazilianoir, will be making its debut at the show. And I know Jason McNamara will be on hand signing fresh copies of his critically acclaimed hit, The Martian Confederacy. Of course, we’ll be featuring Writers Old Fashioned classics like Smoke and Guns to The Homeless Channel as well.
During the rest of the Expo, I’ll be across the hall at the brand new CCA table. I’m really proud of all the CCA students who will be presenting their comics to the public for the very first time. Keep an eye out for the California College of the Arts banner and show these kids some love! The table will also feature special appearances by CCA summer degree instructor Gene Yang (American Born Chinese) and graphic novel seminar guest speaker Julia Wertz (The Fart Party)!
At night, I’ll be celebrating a year of retail work at Isotope Comics by helping put on the APE Aftermath, one of comics’ biggest bashes! Between Saturday’s Mini-Comics Award Ceremony and Sunday’s intimate evening with Dame Darcy, I have a feeling it will be a weekend supercharged with comic book love. But I’ll leave it to Isotope owner, James Sime, to fill you in on all his plans for the Isotope during this year’s APE!
Thanks to Matt for the perfect set-up … after APE, the Isotope crew will present their annual mini-comics award:
From James Sime, aka Fog City Wrestling’s Chairman of the Board:
Man, I am really keeping my staff busy! As always, the annual Alternative Press Expo here in San Francisco is our favorite weekend of the year, and we always throw our biggest and our best events that weekend. Here’s what we’ve got on tap for this year.
Saturday, Nov. 1 – APE AFTERMATH
8pm – Top Shelf Happy Hour with live art show by Nate Powell of SWALLOW ME WHOLE fame and the out-of-retirement bartending skills of Top Shelf Books publisher Brett Warnock slinging his signature margaritas behind the Isotope bar.
10pm – Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics Ceremony with special guest comics-god-in-sneakers Joshua W. Cotter author/artist of SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST (2004′s winner of this award)… who will take home the coveted most deadly trophy in comics this year? We will be revealing it live on stage during this event!
21 and over after 11pm, por favor!
Sunday, Nov. 2 – DAME DARCY’S GOTHIC BANJO PICKIN’ JAMBOREE
7pm – An after-convention live banjo and musical saw show by the legendary MEAT CAKE author/artist Dame Darcy in celebration of her new graphic novel GASOLINE!
More information on these events can be found here: